Problem Solving Skills:
When companies hire new graduates right out of college, one of the complaints is that these new hires lack problem solving skills.
At the Academy, the Electronics & Computer Engineering Technology rigorous curriculum is designed to provide, besides lectures on the theory and concepts of the various engineering topics, lab experiments, hands on activities, individual and team projects, all the way up to the senior project whereby students design a product from conception to realization.
Through this experience, students acquire problem solving skills such as divide and conquer, pattern recognition, logical reasoning, logical deduction, and critical thinking.
Students need to differentiate themselves in order to compete effectively in today’s world environment.
Mastering problem solving skills provides one of these differentiators that will give our student’s a better chance to achieve their academic and career goals.
Edison Academy: Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) ProgramThe ECET program is designed to prepare students for success in competitive undergraduate college programs in computer engineering, computer science, electrical engineering and related fields. An outline of the program of study is presented below:
Introduction to Engineering
Introduction to Digital Logic
Part of the exploratory program
Introduction to Computer Science Using C++
DC Circuit Analysis
Integrated Circuit Logic Families
Sequential Logic Circuits
Finite State Machines (FSM)
Interfacing to the analog world
Microcontrollers / Assembly language
Object Oriented Programming Using C++
AC Circuit Analysis
Electronic Communication Systems
Digital Communication Systems
Includes design documentation, presentations, & formulation of deliverables
* High School Scholar’s Program course credit availableAll classes meet for one block, (2 periods = 88 minutes), of instruction and/or laboratory activity five days a week. There are no electives within the program – this is a fixed course of study. Before choosing a career major, all freshmen take part in the exploratory program in which they take classes for one marking period in the Electronics/Computer Engineering Technology (ECET) program and for another marking period in the Civil/Mechanical Engineering Technology (CMET) program. After the second marking period, assignments to either the ECET or CMET program are made.
Students in the ECET program can acquire 15 college transfer credits via the High School Scholars Program (HSSP). This is an arrangement with Middlesex County College whereby students who register with the college will receive credit for the college course if they achieve a grade of C or better in the corresponding Academy course. The courses are accepted for credit by all New Jersey state colleges.The courses are listed below:Major Elements of the ECET CurriculumThe rigorous ECET curriculum involves several elements: lectures on the theory and concepts of the various engineering topics, lab experiments, hands-on activities, and individual and team projects. One of the unifying themes throughout the four years of the program is development of problem solving skills. Companies hiring college engineering graduates frequently identify lack of these skills as a problem area. In the ECET program, students acquire skills such as divide and conquer, pattern recognition, logical reasoning, logical deduction, and critical thinking. Students mastering these skills effectively differentiate themselves from other graduates and are able to compete effectively in today’s world environment.
From a hardware point of view, the ECET program covers both analog circuits (i.e. DC/AC circuit analysis) and digital circuits (combinational circuits, sequential circuits, finite state machines, programmable logic devices and micro controllers). Also covered are topics in data communications, telecommunications and computer networking.
Students are assigned design projects and are responsible to design, simulate, build, troubleshoot and describe the particular design either through a lab report or presentation. Emphasis is placed on the importance and applications of the various mathematical principles (i.e. all the way to the calculus level) as it relates to all phases of engineering.
From a software point of view, the program covers assembly language (i.e. MPASM), C++ programming (i.e. procedural programming and object oriented programming), and JAVA. Various software technologies such as MS Excel ©, MS Word ©, MS Power Point ©, are used extensively as part of the curriculum to help in the data acquisition and analysis skills, technical report writing skills, and public speaking skills via information sharing presentations.
Our laboratory facilities include state-of-the-art lab instrumentation. Each workstation is designed to facilitate team work thus providing both the instrumentation and the computer capabilities to perform real life laboratory work as currently performed in the industry. Furthermore, various hardware simulation software packages are used extensively to prove in experimental results prior to the lab experimentations.
All students must complete a senior project in which students design a product from conception to realization with emphasis on technical skills, project management and processes. Planning skills and time management are emphasized very rigorously via the extensive usage of Gantt charting software technologies. All projects are required to be microcontroller based and as such involves substantial hardware and firmware designs. Some of the projects completed by recent graduates include:
- Robotic guidance system for the visually impaired using ultrasound technology
- Control movement of a wheelchair using head movements for the physically impaired using blue tooth technology
- Programmable medication dispenser system for senior citizens with 7-segment displays
- Programmable music synthesizer using touch screen technology and DOT matrix technology
- Keyless door opening system using programmable code generated via knocking on the door with a specific cadence
- RFID based pet detection system monitoring egress & ingress via a “doggy dog”
- Automatic guitar tuning system via microcontroller generation of a digital pulse width modulated motor control signal upon plucking the desired string
- Child out of range monitoring system using GPS technology
- Automatic curtain opening/closing control system based on light intensity
- Wireless control system based on RF technology to remotely control the closing of house windows – Very useful when heavy rain occurs at the spur of the moment and many windows need to be shut
- Autonomous Quadrotor design using an IMU (accelerometer & Gyroscope Inertial Measurement Unit) and a GPS module. Data acquisition and processing is performed via programming an ArduPilot Mega (i.e. microcontroller unit) using the C programming language